The Hungarian Geographical Society was founded in 1872 to promote geographical knowledge in the country. In the year of foundation the Society had 300 members, which doubled by 1900.
During the 19th century the main objective of the Society was to promote geographical research and exploration in the Hungarian part of Austro-Hungarian Monarchy as well as abroad and to publish its results. The Geographical Review (Földrajzi Közlemények), which is the official journal of the Hungarian Geographical Society, was launched in 1873, and it is one of the oldest scientific periodicals published in Hungary. Due to the extraordinary growth in membership the first congress was organized in 1907.
After World War I, science in Hungary was substantially reorganized. The successful recovery of Hungarian geography was led by the Hungarian Geographical Society. The Society was highly active not only in the scientific sphere, but in public life as well. Chaired by the then prime minister, Pál Teleki the Hungarian Geographical Society was one of the most recognized scientific societies in Europe.
After 1945, geography became repressed under stalinist regimes, and the Hungarian Geographical Society was banned in 1948. After four years of break the Society was be reorganized under control of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The number of members increased continuously, and reached 1500 by the 1980’s. After 1990 the Society had to be transformed into a non-profit organisation.
At present the Hungarian Geographical Society has 900 members, 8 specialised and 15 regional sections; 160-170 oral presentations take place in frame of the sections in a year. Every year the Society organizes its annual congress with scientific programmes and field trips. The Hungarian Geographical Society – as a civil organisation – organizes a lot of public programmes at different levels.
The Society also publishes the periodical Geographical Review (Földrajzi Közlemények), a leading journal in geography in Hungary, which publishes the results of original theoretical and empirical research, as well as reviews in all the fields of geography and significant contributions from other related disciplines. The journal bridges the gap between Hungarian practices of geography and continental European traditions by including articles from both regions. Four issues appear annually providing a solid medium for geographers to publish. All papers are peer reviewed. Besides the Geographical Review the Hungarian Geographical Society has an educational magazine (A Földgömb – The Globe), and the Society publishes some books year by year.